Global campaign calls for end to gender-based violence

30 November 2021

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Category: University news

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against people who identify as women globally. 

Started by activists in 1991 and now supported by the United Nations, this year’s campaign launched on 25 November to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, which is Human Rights Day.

Falmouth University is observing the campaign through a range of resources and support, devised to help raise awareness of gender-based violence, and to share the steps everyone can take to make our campuses and community safer and more inclusive places to be. 

 

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls", recognising that equal participation and the vital role of women is key to sustainable development. More can be learnt about the SDGs here.

Join the conversation on social media

During these 16 days, people from all over the world come together to speak about ending gender-based violence. Many people have a platform on social media to use their voices for good and will be using the hashtags #16DaysCampaign and #30YearsOfActivism to share stories, listen to survivors and demonstrate the importance of ending violence against women and girls.

What is an active bystander and how can you be one?

Being an active bystander means being aware when someone's behaviour appears to be threatening or inappropriate. By choosing to challenge these behaviours, the message is reinforced that these behaviours are unacceptable, thereby putting pressure on the individual to rethink their actions.

Training offered by Cornwall Council aims to demonstrate how bystanders can safely play a key role in preventing, discouraging, or intervening when an act of violence has the potential to occur. 

Speaking out

All of the Cornwall campuses are inclusive communities, where everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Part of being an active bystander means speaking out if any acts of violence or injustice are witnessed.

As well as reporting serious crimes to the police, instances occurring on campus can be reported, and support sought, using the Falmouth and Exeter Speak Out tool.

Using your voice for change

The Liberation Committee at the Students' Union work towards the equality of all students on campus, including gender equality, through student-led campaigns and representation. These platforms aim to raise voices and rewrite narratives, both on campus and further afield, as this is key to helping breakdown cultural norms.

 

Support at the University

There is a range of different kinds of support in place to ensure the student experience is a happy, safe, and fulfilling one for all members of the Falmouth University community.

The SafeZone app is a free app which aims to provide extra reassurance to students. The app allows the Security team to be quickly and easily alerted. The FX Plus 24/7 emergency line can also be reached on 01326 254444. 

The Student Support team provide support and assistance, including practical help and guidance when liaising with the police and other external agencies.

Tools like the University Wellbeing App and Togetherall, as well as on-campus student peer support groups such as Georgia’s Voice, also provide a supportive environment for looking after wellbeing.

Safer futures

As well as the immediate support available on campus, there are also initiatives taking place in the local community.

Safer Cornwall is a partnership of public, voluntary, community and private organisations who work together to make Cornwall’s communities safer for all. Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence is one of their key priorities.

Safer Futures provides a safe space for people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Funding given to improve safety in Falmouth

Safer Streets, an initiative from Cornwall Council, was recently awarded £33,000 of funding to support projects in the Falmouth area. One of the priorities for the Safer Streets grant is to support the creation of a student-led group to run awareness campaigns and projects around tackling gender-based violence.

Understanding consent and healthy relationships

Feeling unsafe or threatened in any relationship is never acceptable. The Good Consent Guide is a campaign led by Devon and Cornwall police to help people understand what consent is and how it's given. Falmouth University also recommends consent training to all students.

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline offer online, text and phone support services, which may be helpful to those who feel unable to directly challenge their partner.

By recognising violence, it can be eliminated. A sudden or gradual change in appearance or behaviour can be an indicator that abuse or neglect has occurred, or that it may still be happening. Learning how to detect signs of abuse in a relationship can be crucial to helping those in need of support.

Get creative

Art inspires change. It’s a powerful form of expression that can spark a conversation on gender-based violence with friends, family, and the broader community. Throughout the 16 Days campaign, the @unwomen Instagram account are sharing powerful work by illustrators who are speaking out about gender-based violence through their art.

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